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MA-C3 Applications of Differentiation - Ordering Task

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This is an ordering task to help students in small groups think about reasoning and communication when finding stationary points and points of inflexion.

So in this lesson, I wanted to emphasise the importance of the verbal "connective tissue" in a typical applications of differentiation question. It's so common for students to eschew using words because it's so much faster to just write the equations, even though I'd argue that in many cases that leaves their working unclear at best and confusing at worst. (In other words, while fluency is a key skill for tackling these questions effectively, I find that students miss out the other aspects of Working Mathematically when learning to handle these very common question types.)

I wanted my lesson to address this issue - but I know it can also be very laborious (and frankly boring) trying to communicate all that precise language to students while they're still in the early stages of understanding the significance of all those terms. So rather than go through a worked example in the standard way (by just demonstrating it from the front of the classroom), I took my solution and cut it into pieces - then invited them to try and reassemble it in order.

The attachment includes the jumbled order (which I gave to the students, with the answer key cut off obviously). The solution in correct order is at the end, which I didn't print because I went through it on screen (which is what you see in the video above). The students got into pairs and I provided scissors that they could use to slice the working into sections according to each block letter (I thought that would be more efficient than me cutting out all the working myself), and then I asked them to put it into order. Obviously, multiple orders are possible but I think a convincing argument can be made for why one order is clearer than the others.

20 August 2020 Edit: 20 August 2020

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Resource Type:
ActivityMatching Activity
NSW Mathematics Advanced Stage 6 Syllabus:
CalculusMA-C3 Applications of Differentiation

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